Fascinating, frustrating, horrifying!
Stars: Jan Broberg, Mary Ann Broberg, Bob Broberg
Director: Skye Borgman
Synopsis: A true story about the kidnapping and subsequent brain washing bye pedophile Joe Berchtold of 12-year-old Jan Broberg. Through interviews, photos and dramatizations, we see the path that led from an innocent life to one taken over by a predator who everyone thought was a close family friend.
Opinion: I don’t know what it is about True Crime that I find so fascinating, but this was no exception. Told via recent interviews, old photos & recordings from back when it happened, it’s an honest and at times very unsettling account of an event that troubled a family directly for 4 years and then continued to affect them mentally and emotionally for the rest of their lives. It’s hard to watch something like this and not find yourself forming opinions and judgements of people that were involved and honestly, this was one of the most difficult True Crime things I’ve had to watch purely for that fact. As a person with all the knowledge that I have in a world that has criminals and pedophiles and things to be careful about and cautious of, it was a huge struggle to watch the parents behave they way they did through the re-telling. I mean originally they waited five days before calling the authorities because they didn’t want to make a fuss…..you child was taken by someone you considered a friend and thought you trusted….they were uncontactable and you had no idea where they were….but yeah sure, don’t make a fuss or anything.?! The amount of times I groaned or literally yelled “what the fuck” to my TV were more than I can count, but I do know that brainwashing and manipulation is actually a very serious thing that happens. So, while yes it was frustrating to watch, it was also honest and brave of them for being so open and sharing their story no matter how silly it made them feel. They all mentioned at least once that they couldn’t believe how they could have been so stupid, but it happened during a very different time and I while it’s a horrific event, it is also because of people like them speaking out about it to educate the world better and hopefully save other people from similar misfortunes.
Reasons to Watch: If you like true crime, as I do, then this is a must. Besides the frustration that will be felt, it’s a fascinating and insightful look into a sinister world and educates you about people that are out in society and still try to do things like this. Without documentaries like this, people may still be waiting 5 days (or even 2 weeks like that do for the second kidnapping…..yep there’s a second one) before calling authorities.